Queerly Not Straight: The Perfection That Was William Coming Out on ‘Arrow’

In an effort to build a space for queer people like myself, every Tuesday I’ll be posting opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx/WOC community since I am Latinx.) Welcome to Queerly Not Straight! Enjoy and leave a comment below if you have a suggestion for what I should cover next.


Coming out isn’t easy. There are the expectations you put on the process, and the ones that your loved ones have on what it means to be queer. And with an ever increasing amount of queer content on our screens, coming out scenes have become more prevalent. Each of them is unique, but they carry the common theme of liberation and choice. That’s what I see when I look at the perfection that is William’s coming out scene on Arrow.

Now, this is not to say that Arrow is perfect. It’s not and it’s had plenty of problems throughout the years. My friends can attest to that and so can the podcast I’m on, where Arrow pops up here and there and drives Stop and Fangirl into Rantville. But this coming out scene with William needs to be talked about, admired, and given the credit it deserves for being so honest, open, and touching.

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So, William aka the Green Arrow’s son, popped back into the past and crossed paths with his father. He hasn’t seen him in ages, and the mere sight of his dad makes William run into his father’s arms, giving him the hug of the century. It’s a super touching moment that gave me the feels and left me wondering who was cutting onions while I was watching the show. Alas, no onions. Just genuine feels of happiness at being reunited.

Not knowing how much time he has, William sits down with his father and prepares to tell him the truth about himself. A truth that he had always wished to tell Oliver, but that he had never gotten a chance to do so. A truth that is solely his, and still so precious to queer people all over the world. A truth that could only be said when William was ready. And this was the moment. 

So he comes out. He tells his father that he’s gay. And then it happens. Oliver accepts his son being gay; no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Hell, apparently he’d known that William was gay, and was giving him his own space and time because that’s what a good parent does when their child is struggling with something so intimate. That acceptance matters. 

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For too long TV has been giving us coming out stories built on pain and misunderstandings. The person in question is outed by accident, hiding their true selves in fear of retaliation from those around them. None of that shit was present when William came out as gay. There was only understanding and acknowledgment that Oliver loves him no matter who William chooses to be with.

That’s what being a parent is all about. 

That’s what being a good, no…great man is all about.

And it’s the reason why I dived back into the Arrowverse for the first time in ages. 

I appreciate what Arrow has done with William and his coming out scene, because it will inform, empower, and give courage to those struggling to come out. Because this scene shows them that love could be the final answer when you come out to your parents or family members. Not everything is so sad and dour. And sometimes parents know, give their kiddo a smile, and keep on treating their kid like…their kid. I know, shocker that everything doesn’t have to be drama, drama, and drama all the time but it’s true, and I see in Williams coming out scene to his father, Oliver Queen.

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Here’s hoping it’s the beginning of a pattern, of something bigger, where love and acceptance reign supreme; heralding a new age for those coming out or planning to do so in the near future. 


Queerly Not Straight posts every Tuesday with opinion pieces, listicals, reviews, and more focused on the LGBT community (and occasionally about the Latinx community since I am Latinx.)

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